Banana Nut Bread

What? Banana bread? Are you nuts? There is no banana nut bread without the walnuts, so don't even ask! Banana nut bread is a quick bread meaning it is raised without the aid of yeast. Instead, interaction between the baking soda and other ingredients creates air bubbles to raise and lighten the cake.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening (or butter)
6 ripe bananas (or 7 small ones)
4 eggs, well beaten
2½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda (not baking powder)
2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 300°. It is important not to make the cake batter and let it sit while the oven is still heating up.

2. Cream sugar and shortening well (until fluffy).

3. Mash the bananas, sprinkle with trace amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix them in with the sugar and shortening.

4. Beat eggs separately until lemon colored. Do not underbeat. Incorporate into bowl with existing ingredients.

5. Add in flour, salt and baking soda. Mix just until blended. DO NOT OVERMIX. Overmixing homogenizes too much, activates and tires the soda and other ingredients before baking can occur resulting in a less well-raised quick bread. BAKE IMMEDIATELY.

6. Butter two loaf pans well (depending on the quantity of banana, there might be enough for an additional, tiny loaf pan) and pour the batter into them. Any shape pan may be used, but the wider the surface to span with the batter, them more fallen will be its appearance a few minutes after coming out of the oven (or even at the end of the baking cycle). The desirable taste in banana nut bread is the carmelized crust and the onctuous banana cake with nuts part of which reach the outside and get roasted.

7. Bake for about an hour or until dark brown. A dark brown color ensures that the sugar has carmelized on the outside of the cake which is a tasty contrast to the inside. Be careful not to carbonize the sugar by blackening it.